Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloweenies 2016


"Daddy - put some make-up on your face and be Duck Dynasty!"

it was a simple request... and for these goofballs...

I'd do it in a heartbeat!

So we got our gear on and headed out!


Mommy claims she dressed up as a YMCA Class instructor - but let's be honest... she just never changed today after her class!


The pumpkins were all carved and glowing out front (can ya guess which one is Z-Dogg's?)


So we all got in to our characters - and hit the streets!


The booty was bountiful tonight - that's for sure!

Not the best thing to have laying around post Whole30 - so we'll find a home for that soon...

So... we all had a few treats - but most of all - we had a BLAST hanging as a family, seeing our neighbors and enjoying an unseasonably warm night walking around the 'hood!

We hope you dd too!

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Celebrating Amigo!


We had the privielege of being invited to our first real deal doggie birthday party today!

See these two here - that's Amigo on the left and Meron on the right - they share the same birthday - and today we got to go help celebrate Amigo turning 15 years old!

Excuse the blur - but you should try capturing these two furry friends in a picture... TOUGH!


That's right - 15 YEARS OLD!

And still looking like a puppy!


Amigo's mom even made him some delicious looking "pupcakes!"


And he was pretty darn stoked about it!


She even sent two pupcakes home to our two pups...


Who weren't real happy when they heard we were out celebrating a Golden birthday!


They waited patiently - and I think the pupcakes made up for the fact that we left 'em at home!


Amigo - we loved spending time with you tonight and are so happy you had us over to celebrate with you!

Stay awesome Amigo... STAY AWESOME!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

All Together Again


Mommy has been gone a LOT the past 3 weeks or so...

So it has been awesome to have her back with us and us rolling as a unit for the weekend!

Got us feeling like:


That's right - mommy brings the strength and confidence to the crew!

We're glad you're home mommy!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Sporty Sisters


I love that this is who the girls went to their school Halloween parade as!

Mini-Troy and a Yankee!

Stay Sporty, girls!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Social For Good


Social media.

Everybody has a different take on it.

Some use it well. Some maybe shouldn't be using it...

And lately we've been on the receiving end of some weirdness around our social media usage.

But we embrace it. And it's been good to us.

One of the cooler things social media has done for us in the last year was reunite us with this dude!

Bobby and I grew up together - played baseball together when we were Z-Dogg's height - and then parted ways when I moved away from western PA.

Bobby went on to have a fascinating career as a secret service agent (I am a total fanboy) - and 25+ years later - he tracked me down on social media - and tonight he got to come to the crib and meet the goofballs and have dinner with us!

Social media for the win!

Bobby - we had a great time tonight -thanks for coming and thanks for your generous, big heart...

We're coming to meet your crew soon!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Dyslexics, Represent, Represent...


What seems like forever ago - I was a member of a hip hop group back in Atlanta.

We recorded a few studio albums and a slew of other tracks, did a mini-south-east tour, shot some videos - and it was a blast!

I still miss it to this day and hope we reunite for a tune one day... if Eric B. and Rakim can get back together... I'm holding out hope!

But Meron helps me never forget it!

At least several times a week - she chooses to raid my closet and sleep in my shirts - and she almost ALWAYS picks this shirt from our second album - "Sophomore Slump."

She always smiles and says - "Daddy - I'm wearing your band shirt!"

And I smile too.


I have super fond memories of the time spent writing, recording, playing out, shooting videos and being all around nutty.

"D-Y-S-L-E-X-I-C-S...
Who rocks the best? Ya know it's the Lex!"


We ain't done yet... we ain't done.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

My Favorite Small Group


These guys right here man...

They are my absolute favorite small group ever!

Mommy is away - spending four days in Vail at this amazing thing called "Soul Care" - where she gets spoiled, gets prayer time, hang time with other amazing nonprofit leaders and best of all - doesn't have to put up with me and this crazy crew!

Total relaxation!

But these guys here - they jump right into action when one of us is gone - helping out, listening like champs and being all around amazing.

They even - on their own - prayed for me tonight (I wasn't feeling all that great).

Yep - this here is my favorite small group ever!

Glad we're "doing life together!"

Monday, October 24, 2016

Bread of Life


In the history of our blog - something nutty like THOUSANDS of posts - Laura has only posted once or twice I think. She's a much better writer than me though and should do it more often... and today she wrote something online that I am commandeering and posting here - violating our rule of "always have the kids" on a post cuz it's so worth it...

See... lately - satan has been working overtime to make us feel stupid, lame, inefficient, unworthy and wasteful.

He's been whispering untruths in our ears every time we turn around - using people, places and things to try and derail us.

The good thing is that every single night for as long as I can remember - I have prayed for "wisdom and discernment" and I feel like He has given us that to see these attacks for what they are...

Here is what Laura posted:

I received this picture today from, Nebiat, our director at Brighton Academy. Communication is limited out of Ethiopia so I was excited to get lots of pics today and to talk to him on the phone.

But today this picture is exactly what I needed. It is a reminder for me that - even when feeling under attack in so many areas of my life - Jesus is the bread of life. HE is the ONLY one that can sustain me.

I will never feel full on anything earthly but His bread satisfies me like no other.

So while our students eat this amazing bread today and fill their tummies, my soul is also filled by the bread of the one who loves me beyond measure.

#brightonacademy
#76dayschangedeverything
So much truth and wisdom written by my favorite person ever...

Get behind us satan - look at the Loaf that our bread comes from!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Cruisin' The Hood


Man - nothing can help kill stress for me more than hopping on the bikes and hitting the road with my road dawg - Meron!


Usually - we just kinda mindlessly cruise through the neighborhood having conversation, laughing and soaking in some good weather...

And the joy she finds from a simple bike ride is INFECTIOUS!


Meron - you're like a boost of energy for me - thank you!

Pedal on, girl... PEDAL ON!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Dapper Little Z-Dogg


This dude is a dapper little man for sure...


In cleaning out his closets today before a Goodwill run - we found some good stuff to dress up in!


When Z-Dogg gets into a costume of any sort...

He kinda loses his mind!


He's a nutty little man - no doubt...


But he even makes nutty look good!


Zechie - thanks for being the goofiest of good sports!

Stay dapper Z-Dogg... stay dapper!

Friday, October 21, 2016

She's A Swinger!


this girl right here LOVE TO SWING!

I mean - at her sisters soccer games - THIS is where you'll find her.

The Entire Time!

She absolutely loves it!


And of course it's rubbing off on her mini-me!

He just requires a pusher still...


Meron - i love that you LOVE to do this - it makes me smile to see how much joy just swinging back and forth brings ya!

Life is too short girl...

Never stop swinging!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

He's A Maniac, Maniac...


Locking rhythms to the beat of his heart, changing movement into light,
He has danced into the danger zone...

He's a maniac, maniac on the floor!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Showing Love Wherever She Goes...


I'm telling ya - between her and her older sister getting recognized for their character -

I can barely keep up!

Mebbie got recognized fr her CHARACTER the other day - and I couldn't be nay more proud of this girl!

Her teacher wrote this:

"Thank you Mebbie for ALWAYS looking for ways to help out. I know I can always count on you to be an amazing quiet leader who is always patient and kind to EVERYONE! You have an amazing heart Mebbie. Thank you for always showing love wherever you go."
I mean... COME ON!

It's one thing for us to say it - cuz we're her parents.

But when her God-given bauty and awesomeness is seen by others... i just love that kind of validation of who she is in Him!


Mebski Love... your daddy is super proud of you girl!

Our amazing quiet leader...

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Family That Leaps Together...


Mommy's home...


and that's something to...

JUMP ABOUT!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Amazed


Loved watching these guys be AMAZED by the bigger buildings we saw in Denver...

The clouds were moving kinda fast and they thought this tall clock tower was about to sway and fall over!

Absolutely love exploring and experiencing new things with this crew.

Stay amazed, goofballs... STAY AMAZED!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Complete Again


Our Camp rolled through the last week feeling a little incomplete...

Our puzzle was missing a piece!

We did the best we could while mommy was over shining bright for Him in Ethiopia.

But we were still incomplete.


But not any more!

Mommy's home - the crew is back intact - and we got to spend the whole day together just hanging out.

We LOVE when one of us gets to go be back in Ethiopia - but we love it even more when we're all back together!

Posse up!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Mebrate "Pele" Hoffman


This morning - Mebbie wrapped up her fall soccer season at the Y!

Or as Mebbie calls it: "Basketball with my feet!"


Man - I have absolutely LOVED watching her "kick it" out there on the field - and just seeing how much she has progressed over the last year - both in skills and understanding of the game!


She's a student of it too when not on the field you can find her studying it and cheering her team on!


She's one of the quickest kids out there - and this year we worked on her aggressiveness - which she turned up a notch or two!


Mebski Love - Daddy's super proud of you girl - for how hard you work - how much you encourage others and how much joy you're finding out there exercising and having fun!

Keep up the amazing work, girl!

GOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Undefeated


Tonight was Meron's final game of her volleyball season at the Y...


And I didn't even realize going in to it that they had been holding an undefeated record all season!


She has really taken to the sport - takes her ball to school to practice at recess...


Is always hustling... and more importantly - always SMILING!


She's found a way to be competitive and joyful in this game - and I love it!


And with school over for me - it was a real privilege to be able to be at every game now!

Watching her sportsmanship come to life and her passion for this game has me wanting to learn all about bumping, setting and spiking!


Meron - daddy is super proud of you girl for your hustle, your heart and the way you play the game!

Can't wait til next season!